What I Learned From November Writing Challenge

Hello! I wanted to reflect on the November Writing Challenge that I’d set myself. If you found me and followed because of my November Writing Challenge, I thank you so much!

I’ll go in by saying that I’d had a lot of writer’s block before I started. I was on-off working on a novel series called Warrior Academy, and also trying to work on a story for a World of Darkness roleplay that I’ll be running in the future. I wanted to do the NaNoWriMo for November, but I didn’t have the confidence to write a full novel in a month, especially with the absurd writer’s block. So I decided to write a short story for every day of the month.

I made it a point to submit at the same time every day (12pm GMT), therefore I would finish by the evening before at the very latest. It meant careful planning and preparation about a week prior to the start of the challenge.

I was led towards the prompt list that Tim posted for his Mid-Month Short Story Challenge. I decided to do all of them because, even though there were some that I didn’t fancy the idea of writing, it was a sure challenge nonetheless – bear in mind that it was nothing to do with the prompts themselves, it was that they wouldn’t be something I’d normally write. To fill the gaps, I created my own prompts, and that was sufficient. You can see all of the prompts here.

I had written a couple of prompts before November, ready for the deadlines. I admit Diary of a Receptionist was written shortly after I was nearly mugged on Halloween, so I wasn’t in the best state of mind. But I’m okay with how it turned out in the end.

My favourite to write was A Normal Tuesday Night. It took me about four different songs to cycle through before I cycled to this one. And then the story just fell from my head and onto the keyboard, and I was happy with it.

The longer the challenge carried on, the harder it got for me mentally, and I was struggling to write or come up with ideas. I was stressed from planning and writing and I was looking forward to the end of the month purely so I didn’t have to write yet another story.

It was when I got a 24-hour stomach bug and I stayed in bed most of the day, that I decided to go ahead and write out a whole week’s worth of submissions so that I could take a break for a while. And it worked out for the better because I was hit with a terrible cold that night, and I was barely capable of writing much for the first few days of said illness.

Something else I learned was that I enjoy writing short stories more than I do full novels, so I know it’s a route that I may take with my first publication.

Overall, I won’t be doing a challenge quite like this again. Instead, I would spend a week writing so I can do a new short story every week instead. That way, I wouldn’t have to focus on thirty stories.

4 thoughts on “What I Learned From November Writing Challenge

  1. Tim

    I’m glad you enjoyed the challenge even if you won’t do it again. What are your thoughts on doing a week of short stories or something like that sometime in the future? Maybe as a cross-posting thing to hopefully drive traffic to each other?

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    1. poketravellerlola

      I might be down for a week of short stories, but maybe in the run-up to my birthday in February. I think a whole month was too much, a week would probably be a lot better for me.

      Like

      1. Tim

        We can work something out closer to time. I have a couple of ideas, but need time to get the other projects I have sorted out.

        Like

      2. poketravellerlola

        Oh yeah, of course! I have a lot of catching up to do to trim down my drafts at the moment. I accidentally let them pile up again!

        Like

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